Who We Are


Welcome to our blog: Square Foot Gardening in South Africa (SFGSA).

Mark and Kathy are an average South African couple with two furry and four legged children called Poppit and Purdey. Mark is an Internet entrepreneur with a successful e-commerce business as well as a few other blogs and websites, all run from a small but comfortable home office.

Mark sometimes like to speak about himself in the third person. Kathy on the other hand, doesn’t speak about herself much at all. A retrenched conveyancing typist, Kathy now also works from home and has taken over the critical function of looking after all of Marks’ business administration and books as well as the unenviable task of keeping him on his toes. Kathy also makes great coffee which is probably why Mark hired her in the first place – because his coffee sucks 😉

Home is an average townhouse with a “pocket” garden (54 square meters/581 square feet) in a small complex located in the Eastern suburbs of Pretoria. Mark and Kathy are tenants (i.e. the place is rented, not owned) which means that any “alterations or improvements” made to the house and garden are first cleared with the owners of the building and with the understanding that either the improvements are left in place when the tenants move out, or everything has to be returned to it’s original condition.

While Mark and Kathy really want to start growing their own veggies, they are understandably hesitant to spend a boatload of money and time on a fixed/permanent garden which ultimately does not belong to them. Their goal, in time, is to buy their own place and turn it into a complete Urban Homestead. In the meantime…

After much research, and a few helpful links and tips provided in the Business Warriors Forum (of which Mark is a long time member), Mark and Kathy have now decided to try their hand at Square Foot Gardening (SFG).

Much of the information on SFG that was gleaned from the Internet during this research was found to be specific to the USA (and a little bit for Europe) but not much to be found about SFG in South Africa. The measurements are all different (imperial feet and inches instead of metric meters and centimeters), the growing seasons are all backwards (well to us they are anyway), the soil mixture ingredients, box materials and even some of the vegetable types which are commonly available in the USA are all foreign and difficult to acquire in South Africa.

And if we were having problems acquiring SFG information suited to South African conditions, then surely other interested South Africans (like yourselves) would be battling too? So, we decided to make it easy on you. We would do all the testing, the measurement conversions and the sourcing of materials and put it all onto a local website so that you too could have it as easy as our friends on the other side of the pond.

Mark, being the consummate handyman that he is, will be in charge of the building of the boxes and … ummmm… er… some other stuff too, while Kathy can take care of all the easy things like planting, watering, harvesting, composting, making coffee, keeping records, cooking and testing various recipes, bottling, canning and preserving, making coffee, researching seed and plant varieties, planting seasons and germination times, general care of the SFG as well as a few more menial tasks. Oh, and did I mention making the coffee? 😉

I hope you enjoy this blog and more importantly, find the information contained in it helpful and inspiring enough to start your own Square Foot Garden.




Hello, Kathy here. Everything stated above is of course, completely untrue (except for the comment about Marks’ coffee) and you’ll have to take it with as many pinches of salt as is deemed necessary. We prefer not to burst his bubble though so we’ll just pretend to go along with it… for now!

Have fun and don’t forget to sign up to our RSS feed and newsletter (newsletter coming soon).



Disclaimer: This is the personal Square Foot Gardening blog of Mark and Kathy Roach. This blog is in no way affiliated to, endorsed by or otherwise associated with the Official Square Foot Gardening website by the originator and author of Square Foot Gardening, Mel Bartholomew.